The Georgian Era in England marks the reign of King George I, II, III and IV which started in 1714 and lasted till 1830. The period is known for its remarkable improvements in the social life of common people which was a result of the efforts made on the development of technology, political reforms and progress in art and literature.
The novel was the most popular form of literature during this time. The novel was a relatively new form of writing and made up for a source of new information for the masses. Due to its simplicity of expression and details of the idea, the novel was embraced by people of all social classes in England.
As a result, a number of writers emerged during the Georgian era that helped in the progress of this new form of literature.
Favorite Genres of Georgian Era Readers
The Georgian Era experienced a number of wars that affected the political structure and social life alike. Due to this, novels based on war became the most favorite genre of the masses. There were a number of authors who came up with great war novels both in England and outside and the British readers embraced their writings.
As a result of the wars that England was experiencing, the Georgian Era became a time of extreme political reforms. These reforms were directly affecting the lives of common people and also provided material to a number of writers in the 18th century. Because people were able to relate to them directly, they became popular among the readers.
The developments in the area of science and technology during the Georgian era were affecting the lives of common people. There were many new discoveries that were made in various areas ranging from medicine to agriculture and the common people were being directly affected by them. This resulted in a wave of science fiction novels that gained popularity during this time.
England had emerged as one of the most powerful countries in the world during this time due to the colonization of many rich countries over Africa and Asia. This promoted the trade and sea voyages were common among men. The government employed a number of young men into the naval forces and merchant navy. This resulted in the rise of travel and adventure novels which were also highly popular during this time.
The Georgian Era witnessed development in all areas of social interest. As a result, a new kind of society was being constructed and the people were experiencing it directly. This created a nostalgia about the events of the past and the great men who were a part of the rich history of England.
This became an important factor that resulted in the popularity of historical novels during this time, which also became a huge trend among the masses.
Most Popular Authors of the Georgian Era
The readers of the Georgian Era were more accepting of change. As a result, many authors with unique writing styles emerged who provided a taste of freshness to their readers. The most notable among them was Jane Austen. It was the first time in the history of England that a woman novelist had started expressing herself at this stature and the quality of her expression helped her to rise to popularity in no time.
Her works became popular among men and women equally, making her one of the most important female authors in the history of English literature.
Daniel Defoe also emerged to extreme popularity towards the end of the second decade of the 18th century. He had returned to England after a sea voyage that had inspired him to narrate his experiences through the novel as a medium. He gained popularity immediately after his first publication and became an overnight favorite of the masses.
The popularity of Defoe was shared by Jonathan Swift who was another narrator of the adventurous tales. Apart from him, Sir Philip Sydney, Aphra Behn, John Bunyan and John Lyly also emerged as notable writers. The many minor works of these writers helped in shaping the mindsets of the readers and making a shift from the elaborated poetry of writers like Dryden and Pope to the novel, which was the most popular form of literature in the Georgian Era.
Top 5 Books written during Georgian Era
Some novels that were written during the Georgian Era were so well-written that they became classics of English literature. These works have survived the test of time and have managed to remain popular among readers of many generations to come. According to critics and readers, these novels can be called the 5 best works produced during the Georgian Era:
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- 5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray